Mother's Day Without a Mother

  Lost Childhood , 2016. Featured in  Get Inspired Magazine  "Beauty in Motion" Photo Contest 2016 and Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery Art Student Show 2015.

Lost Childhood, 2016.
Featured in Get Inspired Magazine "Beauty in Motion" Photo Contest 2016 and Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery Art Student Show 2015.

For most, this time of year is for celebrating the women who gave birth to and raised us, being thankful for their love, compassion, and the skills they've imparted. For others, this is a time when we've been reminded we don't have that motherly love or compassion in our lives. Through the weeks leading up to Mother's Day, every time I saw an ad proclaiming, "YOU'RE MOM WOULD LOVE THIS!!" I would think to myself, "Yeah, I bet she would." I would consciously tell myself that I was doing okay and that I wasn't bothered by the direct mailers in my inbox. In a testiment to advertising however, these many small digs added up and got a reaction out of me – I had the tearful breakdown that I had been sure wasn't coming. 

Most people have an at least halfway decent relationship with their mothers, because most people have at least halfway decent mothers. I grew up with an emotionally, mentally, and physically abusive alcoholic mother with Borderline Personality Disorder. Through lots of therapy, I reached a point where I accepted that it was okay to cut this person out of my life as a way of preserving my emotional and physical wellbeing. This decision has been no easy task on it's own, but it has often been compounded by people making ignorant comments such as, "Family is this most important thing, how could you ever cut yourself off from family?" For a lot of people, the most toxic influence in their life is somebody in the family. When I was around the age of 10, I told my mother, "You don't love me." Her response? "I have to love you, I'm your mother." 

During the rest of the year, it's easier to cope with the emotions that come with separating myself from her. This holiday forces a lot of reflection on the fact that I don't have that love in my life, I never really have, and I never will. I have reached a point in my life where I've come to terms with this and appreciate the person I am in spite of and because of what I've been through.

I don't mean for this to rain on anybody's parade, but rather to serve as a beacon for those who may be going through similar emotions during this time of year. We aren't alone, even though sometimes it may feel that way. If you've been through something similar, just know that it's okay to set boundaries for yourself and it's okay to cut out toxic people in your life, even though it may be painful. The most important thing is that you feel safe and loved, because you are important and worthy of love.

Below I've included a spread I made with a poem I had found while researching Adult Children of Alcoholics that had really stood out to me and thought fit well with the meaning behind my piece. If you need somebody to talk to or need help finding resources to help yourself, I'm here.

Thank you for stopping by.

  Lost Childhood  by Cierra Maher with poem "Goodbye the Child" by Dan L. Hays.

Lost Childhood by Cierra Maher with poem "Goodbye the Child" by Dan L. Hays.